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School of Social Work welcomes 14 new faculty members

Jandel Crutchfield, Zhen Cong (cq), Diana Padilla-Medina
Jandel Crutchfield, Zhen Cong (cq), Diana Padilla-Medina

The School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington welcomed 14 new faculty members for the 2018-19 academic year.

With expertise ranging in gerontology to diversity and social justice, they are poised to make vast contributions in new and exciting directions for the School’s program, according to Scott D Ryan, dean of the School of Social Work.

“We were very successful in recruiting top candidates,” Ryan said.

“Their knowledge and expertise will strengthen the depth of education and research within the School of Social Work, and they will build upon our focus as a university to explore the health and the human condition of our communities, discover solutions to achieve sustainable urban communities, and integrate data from multiple fields to enhance our knowledge,” he added.

The group includes a new associate dean for research with a robust background in gerontology from the University of Southern California; the head of development for the Congregation Mita Office of Social Work in the Dominican Republic and Colombia; and two professors who were recently announced as the winners of the Best Human Services App Idea Award at the Social Work, Education and Social Development Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

School of Social Work new associate and assistant deans is as follows:

Zhen Cong joins the School of Social Work as the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs. Cong received her PhD in gerontology from the University of Southern California in 2008. Cong transitions into her current role with an array of published work and funded grants after 10 years of service as an assistant/associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the Texas Tech University. 

Holli Slater advanced to the position of assistant dean for research and faculty affairs at the School of Social Work. Slater earned both her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Work from UTA. Slater also has reputable experience as the former Research Coordinator at the School. She works closely with faculty and students who are pursuing funding opportunities and engaging in the research process. She serves as a key member of the leadership team for all research activities within the School.

Dawnetta Smith advanced to the position of assistant dean of field education. Smith holds the University of Texas at Arlington close to her heart as she has earned her BSW and MSW from the School of Social Work. Smith later earned her Ed.D. from Dallas Baptist University in May 2017. Smith began as an adjunct instructor in the UTA School of Social Work in August 2016 and moved to an Assistant Professor of Practice in August 2017. Smith’s areas of expertise are data analysis, low-income and improvised families specifically single mothers, community development, diversity, and social justice.

 

School of Social Work new faculty is as follows:

Ryon Cobb joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor. Cobb’s education includes a Ph.D. in Sociology, with a focus on Health and Aging, from the Florida State University. After completing his doctorate, he received postdoctoral training in the biodemography of aging at the University of Southern California’s Davis School of Gerontology. His program of research elucidates how experiences of mistreatment combine with one’s racial identification to affect the health of adults in the United States. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in peer-reviewed outlets such as the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, Social Psychology Quarterly, Ethnicity and Health, Race and Social Problems, and Biodemography and Social Biology. Several institutes within and outside the National Institutes of Health have invested in his work, including the Louisville Institute, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and the National Institute on Aging.

Jandel Crutchfield joins the school of social work as an assistant professor. Crutchfield earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from the School of Social Work at Louisiana State University. Crutchfield is published in numerous publications including her most recent work titled: How colorist microaggressions have eluded social work: A literature review. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work. Her research interests include cultural competence and public schools, with a focus on colorism and preparation of school staff, including teachers and school social workers, for culturally competent practice.

Maxine Davis joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor. Davis earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Davis has a plethora of research experience. She was most recently the principal investigator of a study investigating a voluntary faith-based partner abuse intervention program serving Latino men in Chicago. Her research interests are centered in IPV perpetration and interventions to help men stop abusive behaviors, and the intersection of faith and IPV. She examines the health/wellbeing of black-Americans and Latinx populations within the context of IPV perpetration, often using community based participatory research. 

Genevieve Graaf joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor. Graaf earned her Ph.D. from the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Graaf has past teaching experience at the University of California, Berkeley University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and University of Kansas. Graaf’s teaching and research interests include social work practice, child and youth development, assessment and diagnosis, mental health policy and social welfare policy. 

Bridgette Harris joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor in practice, after earning her Ph.D. in Social Work from Jackson State University in Mississippi. Harris has returned to UTA where she earned her BSW and MSW degree. Harris’ research interests include student achievement, at risk youth, immigration, recidivism rate, women in prison and gender dysphoria.

Darlene Hunter joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor in practice. Hunter earned her MSW degree at UTA and her PhD in family studies from Texas Women’s University. Hunter served as an associate dean for the American College of Education, a Coordinator for the Fort Worth Veterans and Community Programs for the Texas Regional Paralympic Sport, and as the Director of Projects and Implementation at Accreditrust, LLC. Hunter also has experience in teaching. Hunter has taught such courses as the theories of the family, lifespan human development, family economics, and parenting education.

Kathy Lee joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor. Lee earned her Ph.D. from the College of Social Work at Ohio State University. Lee’s research interests include productive aging and physical and mental health of vulnerable older adults. Lee was recently announced as one of the winners of the Best Human Services App Idea Award at the Social Work, Education and Social Development Conference in Dublin, Ireland along with Rebecca Mauldin.

Rebecca Mauldin joins the school of Social Work as an assistant professor. Mauldin earned her PhD from the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. Mauldin has instructed BSW and MSW students in research methods and provided training for Masters and Ph.D. students in theories and methods of social network analysis. Her research interests include social gerontology, social networks, generosity, and social support in relation to physical and mental health. Mauldin was recently announced as one of the winners of the Best Human Services App Idea Award at the Social Work, Education and Social Development Conference in Dublin, Ireland along with Kathy Lee.

Teresa McIntyre joins the School of Social Work as a Cheryl Milkes Moore endowed professor in Mental Health Research. McIntyre earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Georgia State University and was an Advanced Fellow in Behavioral Medicine and a Clinical Fellow in Clinical Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She served as a Professor at the University of Houston and the University of Minho in Portugal. McIntyre is an Honorary Fellow and former President of The European Health Psychology Society, has been on the editorial board of several leading journals and has over 150 publications. She has edited and co-edited several clinical and health psychology books, such as Health Psychology and The Psychological Impact of War Trauma on Civilians and has published internationally in this domain both in Europe and the United States. More recently, she was the principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education funded grant studying teachers’ stress and its impact on teachers’ effectiveness, student behavior and achievement, and the lead editor of a book on educator stress (Springer International, 2017).

Diana Padilla joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor. Padilla earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from New York University. Padilla is also a Fulbright Scholar for the academic year 2018-2019. Her research interests include interpersonal violence in Latin America, developmental pathways to relationship violence in Latin American adolescents, adolescents and family-based prevention interventions for relationship violence, and Latin American adolescents’ mental health outcomes in violence contexts.

Marie Salimbeni joins the School of Social Work as an assistant professor in practice. Salimbeni joins us from New York, where she earned her Ph.D. in Social Work at Yeshiva University at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Salimbeni has experience in training and research service, behavioral health in social work working with fellowships and field instruction programs. Salimbeni also has experience working with military and forensic social work. Salimbeni created, designed and implemented the first Bachelor of Social Work Program in the Department of Defense at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  

 

News Topics: Faculty, Awards, General, Research